Former Blue Jays Infielder Urena Added to Lineup, Nicely Returns to Pitching Staff with Newcomer Stinar

(March 7, 2023, York, Pa.) — The York Revolution have signed Major League veteran infielder Richard Urena while re-signing left-handed pitcher Austin Nicely and adding hard-throwing righty Ryan Stinar. The signings were announced by Revs manager Rick Forney live on Monday’s episode of Revs Hot Stove Weekly presented by Shipley Energy on SportsRadio 98.9 FM & 1350 WOYK.


Urena joins the Revs with parts of three seasons of Major League time with the Toronto Blue Jays and four years at the Triple-A level. The versatile 27-year-old enters his 10th pro season and projects to man shortstop, where he has spent the majority of his career defensively. A switch-hitter at the plate, Urena is a career .268 hitter in the minors with 54 home runs, 174 doubles, 33 triples, and 41 stolen bases. He has appeared in 91 big league games and has batted .253 with 61 hits, including 14 doubles and a pair of home runs.

“I’m really excited for the addition of Richard,” said Forney. “We expect big things from him in his time that he’s here. He’s still a very young, dynamic player and has a great opportunity to get himself back to a big-league club, but we’re certainly glad to be part of his journey. He can play all over the infield, but I want him to play shortstop for us and hit somewhere near the top of the lineup. He’s a big addition to our club, still young and hungry. I’m a little surprised that he’s available right now, but we’re glad to have him in York, and I can’t wait to watch him play.”

Urena originally signed with Toronto in 2012 out of his native San Francisco de Macoris, DR, and quickly established himself as a top prospect, reeling in All-Star selections in the Appalachian League (2014), Midwest League (2015), and Florida State League (2016) while cracking MLB’s Top 100 Prospects list and being named the Blue Jays’ top prospect. Urena received his first big league call-up in September 2017 from Double-A New Hampshire and saw action in 21 games down the stretch, highlighted by a walk-off single off Baltimore closer Zach Britton at Rogers Centre on September 12. The following year, Urena combined to bat .293 in 40 games for Toronto over five different big-league stints and ranked fourth in average among American League rookies with at least 100 plate appearances. He enjoyed another five Major League stints in 2019, including making the Blue Jays’ Opening Day roster, and has since spent the past two seasons, at Triple-A with Buffalo in 2021 and with Rochester in the Washington Nationals organization last season.

Nicely returns to York for a third full season and fourth overall. The 27-year-old was the Atlantic League’s top lefty starter in 2021, finishing second in the league with a 3.74 ERA over 23 starts while piling up nine victories (sixth-most). The durable southpaw totaled 142.0 innings, the league’s second-highest total, and was named the Revs Pitcher of the Year. Nicely was named the league’s Pitcher of the Month in September of that season with a 4-0 mark, had a 2.79 ERA over a nine-start stretch from mid-August through early October, and had five starts in which he did not allow an earned run. Nicely returned to spend most of the 2022 season with York, making another 22 starts with 127.0 innings, both his second-highest career totals, while striking out 84, one shy of his career-best.

“I’ve been following his career,” commented Forney. “He’s always been one of those guys that’s been talked about. He’s talented, throws a lot of strikes. He’s feeling good about this year and how his off-season has progressed, and he understands what he needs to do. The ability is still there. I’m anxious to take a look at him and see if we can fine tune a few things and maybe adjust the approach a little bit. He has a great outlook on things and a very positive, healthy attitude. He loves it here in York.”

Nicely enters his ninth pro season overall. The Grottoes, VA native was a University of Virginia commit but signed with the Houston Astros as a 10th round draft selection out of Spotswood High School in 2013. Nicely spent four years in the Astros system and a pair of seasons with Evansville in the Frontier League before being acquired by York at the end of the 2019 season. He enters the 2023 season eighth in Revs history in starts (46) and innings (273.0).

Stinar comes to York as an intriguing prospect. A native of Fallston, MD, the 6-foot-6 righty pitched at University of Albany and was a Major League Baseball draft prospect before injuries put his career on hold. After ranking second in the conference in saves and making the America East All-Rookie Team as a freshman, Stinar transitioned to a starting role as an upperclassman. After his college days, Stinar took to the business side of the game while rehabbing. Now the founder and head of player development at The Velo Farm in Maryland, Stinar’s comeback bid as a player was recently made aware to Forney.

“He got healthy and worked through all of that stuff,” explained Forney. “I got a call from a scout who had attended a pro day workout and saw him throwing 95 to 98 M.P.H. His top pitch was 98.6 and his spin rate was in the upper 90th percentile. So, we talked and lined up a time to go see him throw. It was all there, and he’s got the type of body and projectability that all these analytic gurus go crazy about. He has what it takes….We had a nice conversation, and we’re going to give him a chance to come in and compete.”

The Revs now have 11 player signings announced for the 2023 season, with Forney scheduled to announce more player signings on the next episode of Revs Hot Stove Weekly presented by Shipley Energy on Monday, March 13, at 6 p.m. live on SportsRadio 98.9 FM & 1350 WOYK,, and The New WOYK app.